Aurora Bedford spotlight

Out of the Cube

photo:: aurora bedford

Aurora Bedford

Aurora Bedford knew she wanted to major in computer science, but she didn't want to churn out code or work with computer hardware building.

During her visit to UCI, the Pomona native saw some presentations on the Informatics major from Professor Andre van der Hoek and was hooked.

“I was immediately interested, as it appeared to be computer science for people who were interested in the human aspect of computers, not just hardware stuff,” Bedford said.

The Informatics major covers the design, implementation, use and impact of information technology. Compared to traditional computer science, which primarily focuses on the internal features of computer systems, Informatics is also concerned with computer systems and their surrounding context -- the people and organizations that use them and the problems they need to solve.


Bedford is a member of the second class of Informatics majors which made her a little nervous, since she would still be part of an experiment to see if the major would be a success.

However, it also gave her a source of pride and an incentive not to fail.

“I believe that Informatics is a great program and I want to prove that its students will learn a lot from this field of study and succeed after graduation,” Bedford said.

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So far her most interesting Informatics class has been Seminar in Informatics Research. The class is composed completely of guest Informatics faculty who speak about what research they are currently conducting.

“It was really interesting to get to know most of the faculty in Informatics, and get to hear about all the different areas of research going on in Informatics,” Bedford said. “The variety of research was amazing--no two professors were doing anywhere near similar things.”

Graduation is still two years away but her experience thus far in the Informatics major has helped her get a better picture about her career after UCI.

“I hope to work in either consulting or some aspect of software development, something that will enable me to talk to people about what they want their software to accomplish, and working with them to achieve their goals,” Bedford said.


Bedford recommends the major for those who are interested in the management or development side of the computer science, which entails a lot of interaction with people and working in teams.

“If you do not enjoy meeting new people or communicating with others, this may not be the major for you,” Bedford said. “However, if you are interested in how an idea and becomes a reality, then studying Informatics will show you all the work that goes into software development.”

Bedford is so passionate about Informatics she joined the Informatics Student Association (INSA) where she is currently the Treasurer.

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INSA puts together numerous events for Informatics, and other Bren School majors, such as company visits, resume and interview workshops, and events with company representatives to talk about what their company does and how student can prepare for a job with them.

She is also a Community Programmer in Middle Earth undergraduate housing community which has provided her a chance to interact with first year residents and will be a resident advisor next year in Mesa Court.

“I have great respect for those that do these jobs, and look forward to being a good role model for younger students and making a positive impact in their lives,” Bedford said. “I also love being a part of the student staff community, as they are all very fun, interesting, and caring people.”

Despite her rather hectic schedule Bedford finds time to dabble in the social experience of college life by going to hockey games, visiting museums and aquariums, and going to concerts.

“Irvine is a wonderful place to live, as it is a very safe community and there are a lot of places to hang out, such as Irvine Spectrum, The Lab, the beach, Fashion Island and many more,” Bedford said. “I love it here.”

- Eric Kowalik